You tell us: What con have you always wanted to attend? (includes pics from #rt12!)

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Carina Press table at Ebook Expo

Okay, I admit it, this is a bit of a copout post. I’ve just spent the last week, Monday to Sunday, at the Romantic Times convention in Chicago. I’m exhausted, my brain is total mush and I had a great time. Since I spend so much time traveling to cons, they don’t always hold the same appeal and excitement for me as they do for most fans, authors and attendees. But I can still appreciate a good conference, a conference team who works hard, and the opportunity to see old acquaintances and meet new people.

James Rollins & Angela James

This year, I was fortunate to meet a LOT of Carina Press authors. There were over 40 at this conference! We had a fantastic cocktail party for authors and staff on Friday night. Food and beverage was consumed, lots of book talk–and even more non-book talk–went on and a good time was had by all (I think!). Then on Friday we held a cocktail party for all conference attendees and holy cow, the turnout was even better than we could have hoped for. It was only one hour, but we had an easy-to-participate activity that gave authors and readers an excuse to talk to each other, and that provided one lucky attendee with the opportunity to take home an iPad. Reception to that party was very enthusiastic and we look forward to doing it again next year!

This year, I also spent quite a bit of time with Harlequin and Berkley author Nalini Singh. If you haven’t read Nalini’s books,

Angela James & Nalini Singh

you really should check them out, she’s amazing! And, on top of that, she’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever have the chance to meet. I also did a bit of a fangirl moment with thriller author James Rollins, which made me happy. He’s one of only a few authors I had my photo taken with this week.

Anyway, at the bottom of this post, I’m going to include a few more pictures, but I’d love to hear from you: You tell us, what author or reader conference have you always wanted to attend? Mine is ComiCon in San Diego. I want to go and be a total geeky fangirl all week. Some day! What’s yours? Or, alternately, what’s a conference that you already have attended and absolutely loved?

Vivian Arend & Zoe Archer

Christine D'Abo

Julie Rowe

Nico Rosso

Calm before storm at Carina #RT12 cocktail party

Photo Friday: Posting from mid-air

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This morning I got up at 4a in order to catch an early morning flight from Toronto to Charlotte, NC. From there, I’m currently somewhere over the middle of the US (the pilot says we just passed the Ozarks), on my way to Phoenix. And then I have one more flight to Tucson (which it currently appears I’m going to miss thanks to an hour’s delay in Charlotte).

So it’s a day of travel, travel weariness, and some flight hassles. But I was fortunate enough to see this gorgeous sunrise out of Toronto, from thousands of feet in the air, between two layers of clouds. And hours later, it still makes me smile.

Photo Friday: Me, @NaliniSingh, @Kobo & Jennifer Greene

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Last week while I was in New Zealand, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of their authors, and they were all amazing, warm and so lovely. Despite the tragedy of the weekend, everyone continued to be welcoming and supportive, and I admired the strength of their friendship and their obvious commitment to one another.

While I was there, I snapped a few “bookish” pictures. On Saturday morning, I had a pitch appointment with an author who came to the appointment prepared with a folder binder. In the pocket of the folder she’d stashed her Kobo. And being a very smart author, the cover that was the screensaver on her Kobo (the Kobo uses the cover of the last book open as the screensaver) was…a Carina Press book. Of course it caught my attention and we had to talk about both her Kobo and the Jennifer Greene books she’s read. Such a great in at a pitch!

Saturday night was the award dinner (where I got to present an award, so fun!) and gorgeous bestselling author for both Harlequin and Berkley, Nalini Singh, was wearing this incredible sari. I just had to have my picture taken with her. Isn’t she beautiful?

Photo Friday: Books in unexpected places

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This week, I’ve been spending my time in Melbourne, Australia. I was fortunate to be invited to the RWAustralia conference. This isn’t my first time here, I was also here once 3 years ago, but there’s so much to see and experience, I was thrilled to come back again. Melbourne has an incredible vibe to it, much different than any other big city I’ve been in. It’s a bit artsy, with a vibrant, fun subculture.

That’s seen not only in the different clubs, venues and entertainment available, but also as you walk through the city and experience the different shops. In two of those shops, I encountered books in a very unexpected place…changing room walls.

Photo Friday: What would the covers look like in print?

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Kind of like this, actually. No, these aren’t “for sale” print books. These are the copies we printed for Rita entries last winter. They looked really pretty on the table, all stacked up together like that, and I snapped a few pictures. We did print a few extra copies, so I’ve got one of each displayed at my desk. And, you know, there might be a few left for a giveaway…hm….

Photo Friday: Look up!

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I don’t get a chance to visit the Harlequin offices in NYC very often, but I always tell people who are visiting for the first time to be prepared: you’re going to stop and look up.

You see, the NYC Harlequin offices are in the historic Woolworth building. One of the oldest skyscrapers in the world, and still one of the fifty tallest buildings in the world, it’s also closed to tourists. Which makes visiting the Harlequin offices that much more fun, because not only is the outside gorgeous, the inside is…astounding. I only have a few pictures that I snapped on the main floor to share. I think I’ll ahve to take a journey back, so I can share some of the other detail that I didn’t capture.

In the meantime, if you get a chance to visit the Harlequin offices in NYC: look up!

(this is me on the stairs that are at the back of the first floor. I’m not actually pouting, I was mugging for the camera)

Photo Friday: Marilyn Denis Show

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Some of you may remember that I appeared on Canadian morning talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show last January. If you didn’t see the clip, you can see it here.The entire experience was amazing and a little surreal (and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!), and though I’ve never really blogged about my experiences, I did take a few pictures that I also never got a chance to share, so here they are!

Premakeup early in the morning. Just me and those HOT, unflattering white lights.

All of the makeup used on the show is MAC. It was like a MAC store had exploded in there (heaven!). I didn’t get a picture of my makeup artist, but she was fabulous. So glad not to do my own makeup.

Pre-show walk through. This is the man who was on the segment before me, giving gardening tips. He was a very handsome lad (and so nice!). Several ladies after the show asked if they could have their pictures taken with him.

And here’s his actual segment. I’m standing outside the studio, waiting for my turn. This is right in the CTV building entryway, so this is what people see as they walk into the building.

And now I’m backstage because it’s almost my turn. Just a few more minutes!

Live Studio audience

My segment producer, Roz. She was fantastic!

And here I am, post show, with Marilyn, holding the ereaders. I was the very last segment (nothing like being forced to wait!) The one thing I can say is that Marilyn made it all seem so very easy. And she groomed me! As I was walking up for my segment (during the commercials) she fixed my hair. She was lovely, I had a fantastic time, and I wish I had more reasons to pitch a few segment ideas for her show!

Photo Friday: Write for Carina, go to the Harlequin Party!

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Last week was RWA 2011 in New York City (was it just last week? It already feels like a lifetime ago!) So of course photo Friday has to be a pic from RWA. To see more pictures of Carina Press authors and Harlequin fun, visit the Carina Press Flickr group. As of this morning, there are over 100 photos added, and more coming every day!

This is a picture of the big screen at the Harlequin party, taken by Carina Press author Shelli Stevens. As you go in, you can get your picture taken (more than once!) and it gets flashed on these screens, which are on either side of the dance floor. It’s a lot of fun. And to all of you who asked, yes, if you write for Carina, you get an invite to the Harlequin party. Even if you’ve written just a novella ;)

Pictured here from left to right: Spice Briefs author Crystal Jordan, and Carina Press authors Shelli Stevens and Karen Erickson. Aren’t they pretty?

(This could be you next year in Anaheim, start writing and get those books submitted to Carina for your invite to the Harlequin party. Heh.)

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Photo Friday: Scheduling

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As advanced as technology is, and as modern as we like to think of ourselves, there’s one thing that we still like to do in a pretty basic, analog way: scheduling. Because we have such a variety of lengths, genres and authors. And because we also have to be aware of how the editors’ books are lining up, we’ve found that it’s easiest for the team to gather in a room with index cards, on which we’ve written the book, author, genre, word count and editor and them sort them into weeks this way.

It might seem unsophisticated, but it allows us to talk it out, get a visual idea of the calendar, and move things around as we brainstorm marketing ideas, editiorial concerns and look at how the schedule is balancing. It totally works for us!

Photo Friday: San Diego

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We’re going to try something a little new here on the Carina blog. Since I do so much traveling (and often take a lot of pictures when I go), we’re going to share a picture every Friday here on the blog. But the pictures won’t always be of my travels. Sometimes they’ll be behind-the-scenes photos (don’t tell the team members, they might start hiding from the camera!)

Today’s photo is courtesy of my trip to San Diego last week to visit the San Diego RWA chapter. Many times, when I travel, I get to see only the hotel, some restaurants and wherever I’m speaking. This time, I purposely flew in a day early so I could enjoy a day in San Diego. I spent all day (8 hours!) at the San Diego Zoo and it was awesome. If you’re interested in more photos from my trip, you can view them on my blog next week.

I got up close and personal with this pretty girl at the Backstage Pass tour. Isn’t she gorgeous? You can read more about the clouded leopard here.